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Two Bills Easing Regulation on Small Advice Firms Will Have to Wait Until 2019

December 31, 2018

With the lame-duck session of Congress coming to a close, two bills making life easier for small broker-dealers and investment advisors will have to wait until next year, according to news reports.

The Small Business Audit Correction Act is aimed at making audits less expensive for certain broker-dealers by easing requirements on them, InvestmentNews writes.

It would apply to small firms that don’t custody funds, according to the publication. The bill won approval of the House Financial Services Committee earlier this year but didn’t get a full House vote nor consideration by the Senate Banking Committee, InvestmentNews writes.

“We were so close," Paige Pierce, senior vice president of Larimer Capital Corp. who’s been leading the push for the bill’s passage, tells the publication. "We just ran out of runway."

Meanwhile, the Investment Adviser Regulatory Flexibility Improvement Act would force the SEC to redefine “small business” — in a way that would have included more small investment advisory firms — when assessing how its regulations affect the industry, InvestmentNews writes.

The Jobs Act 3.0, a broader proposal that included the regulatory flexibility act, managed to get approval in the House, but the Senate failed to act on it, according to the publication.

"From the get-go, it had very strong backing from both sides of the aisle," Neil Simon, vice president for government relations at the Investment Adviser Association, tells InvestmentNews. "We are hopeful it will be reintroduced and are preparing to advocate for its passage in the [next] Congress."

Pierce, meanwhile, also tells the publication she’s optimistic about the chances of the audit bill following her talks with House Democratic offices.

"They believe all the work we did this year positions us well for the next Congress," she said. "That makes me feel good."

By Alex Padalka
  • To read the InvestmentNews article cited in this story, click here.